As a business owner — and if you’re a professional blogger, affiliate marketer, or freelancer, you most certainly are a bona fide business owner — you can learn a lot from the astronomical success of Pokemon GO. Those lessons, on a theoretical or philosophical basis, can be taken to heart to really develop your own brand and to grow your bottom line.
And then there are businesses that are already cashing in on the Pokemon GO trend in a very real way. Surprise! It’s not just Nintendo and Niantic that are swimming in the poke-dough these days.
Independent t-shirt designers are hugely popular online, selling their shirts (and other products) through websites like Teefury and Teespring. Unsurprisingly, more than a few have now released Pokemon GO-inspired designs for their shirts too.
Naturally, none of these are officially licensed and it’s possible they could get shut down by Nintendo, the Pokemon Company, or Niantic at practically any time. But in the meantime, they’re cashing in on what they can.
Cafes and Restaurants
If you run a bubble tea shop, a cafe, or practically any other kind of eatery, you may be lucky enough to have one or more PokeStops in your immediate vicinity. And if that’s the case, you can literally lure customers your way.
One example is the Black Donkey Cafe in Prince George, BC. It’s at the intersection of four PokeStops. They proudly advertise that customers have access to free WiFi and USB charging outlets. In the first week, they tripled their business.
When you consider that dropping a lure only works out to a cost of about $1.19/hr (via an in-game purchase), it’s not hard to get a terrific ROI.
It’s not just brick and mortar businesses that are profiting either. In fact, it’s even better if you’re mobile. In the case of food trucks, moving your operation to a Pokemon hotspot could significantly boost your business.
Some food trucks are seeing an increase of as much as 7,000% after wheeling over to a Pokemon Gym. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
You know what’s one of the biggest problems plaguing Pokemon GO players? A dead battery. They go around hunting Meowths, Charizards and Blastoises, draining the battery on their phones through the use of GPS, AR and everything else.
It might be a little mindblowing to realize that the sale of backup batteries (also known as power banks) doubled in the two weeks following the launch of Pokemon GO compared to the same period last year. It’s even better if you brand the power bank, like the Etsy version above.
Pokemon GO players need to literally go from one location to another in order to effectively play the game. Instead of individuals making their own way around, why not gather together a group of players and make it a party?
That’s exactly what’s happening all across the country with a number of Pokemon GO-themed pub crawls. The organizers can charge attendees or they can charge the pubs for bringing hordes of customers their way.
Attractions and Theme Parks
Some zoos, theme parks and other similar tourist attractions are attracting Pokemon GO players by offering discounts and other promotions. In the case of Sea World in San Diego, they’re hosting a “Lure-A-Thon” where lure modules will be dropped at 40 PokeStops inside the park.
Uber and Lyft Drivers
This doesn’t have much to do with the actual Uber and Lyft services as much as it demonstrates a parallel for what is possible. There are people who are now driving Pokemon GO players around town for about $20 to $25 per hour. It’s a chauffeur service and it could be perfect for people who are already doing something similar with Uber during “slow” times.
And I use the term “professional” very loosely here. Pokemon GO has really unlocked the entrepreneurial spirit in a lot of people. If they’re not driving other players around, they’re literally playing the game for them.
All over Craigslist, people are offering their services as professional Pokemon GO trainers. They’ll help you catch the creatures, train them and do whatever else you want for about $20 an hour.
Some of the businesses and gigs listed above are clearly more lucrative than the others. What it really shows, though, is that you can capitalize on huge trends like this no matter who you are and what you do. There’s no shame in cashing in while the pan is still smoking hot.